Photo Femmes, a new exhibition at De Re Gallery in Los Angeles from April 13 through May 17, is pretty much what it sounds like: Three female photographers—Bojana Novakovic, and former models Ashley Noelle and Monroe Alvarez—taking pictures of themselves, their travels, and their girl friends. What’s notable are the patrons and muses involved in the show: Noelle’s model is Gigi Hadid, with whom she’s been friends since Noelle was 11, and Novakovic already sold her picture of a goat in Nepal to Cara Delevingne. Here, the native Angelenos reveal what went on behind the camera in an exclusive early look at the exhibition.
“Los Angeles – June 25” by Ashley Noelle.
“I photographed [Gigi] right before she left for New York. It was remarkable to see how beautiful she is to photograph and what a natural she is to work with. She is a real supermodel.”
“Los Angeles – February 5” by Ashley Noelle.
“I love the 50’s and 60’s. I started styling shoots because modern clothing just rarely clicked with me when I worked.”
“Los Angeles – April 23” by Ashley Noelle.
“My inspiration was just to be as true to what I liked as I could. It was also the start of my personal collection of vintage clothes. I would style with anything from Gucci FW16 though! I mean, bravo! ”
“Los Angeles – November 25” by Ashley Noelle.
Bojana traveled to Sindhupalchok, Nepal after the earthquake last spring and later compiled her photographs into a series called “White Girl In Nepal.”
“Crooked House” by Bojana Novakovic.
100% of proceeds from all picture sales will go to The B Project, and Cara Delevingne bought this particularly charming portrait.
“Goat on Mt. Gobre” by Bojana Novakovic.
“The name of the series reflects the naïve optimism with which I embarked on a journey to a country I knew nothing about, to help friends who were important to me.”
“Girl in the Rice Field” by Bojana Novakovic.
“I also took many photos of the disastrous effects of the earthquake, but those disaster photos don’t really show the soul of the place. They might be what we in the west want to see – to make us aware, or make us feel different, or to try to form empathy with victims of disaster and make ourselves feel like we know things, but I am not such a fan of those pictures…”
“Maya” by Bojana Novakovic.
“Brew together a bowl of vulnerability, empowerment, excitement and being scared shitless. That is exactly how these photos make me feel.”
“SOLO One” by Monroe Alvarez.
“The moment I have my camera set up on the tripod and have the exact framing down is when I know I have to take off all of my clothes and run out there in front of the lens. Anyone could drive or walk by and see me… all of me…and to top it off, I am all alone. However, all of that is what makes the experience so empowering. My blood is pumping, I am running around like a mad woman, and then I rush back to the camera and pray I got something worthwhile.”
“SOLO Two” by Monroe Alvarez.
“I remember walking out there thinking ‘What the hell am I doing? This weather is madness.’ It’s always when you push yourself beyond what you believe your limits are and commit to completing it when you end up with your best work.”
“SOLO Three” by Monroe Alvarez.
“SOLO Four” by Monroe Alvarez.
“Is what I am doing the smartest thing in the world? Probably not. A chick stripping down naked on her own with no one to protect her…not the best combo for a guaranteed safe outcome. However, I am smart about it, or at least as smart as you can get in that scenario.”
“SOLO Seven” by Monroe Alvarez.